Kagan noted that the U.S. Supreme Court had ruled in 2017 in Matal v. Tam that the Lanham Act's ban on "disparaging" trademarks violated the First Amendment because of discrimination on the basis of viewpoint. At a time when free speech is under attack, it is especially important for this Court to remain firm on the principle that the First Amendment does not tolerate viewpoint discrimination.
The decision upheld a federal appeals court ruling that said the law was unconstitutional.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which administers the intellectual property statute also known as the Trademark Act of 1946, previously rejected a trademark application for the word "F**T" (letters omitted) by clothes-maker and artist Erik Brunetti, who has said F**T stands for "Friends U Can't Trust".
Brunetti challenged a neighboring provision prohibiting the registration of "immoral" or "scandalous" trademarks.
Justice Samuel Alito concurred with Kagan - noting that the decision does not call for moral relativism, but a preventative measure against government exploitation. In an opinion delivered by Elena Kagan, the court considered the definitions of "immoral" and "scandalous", concluding that the law in question, the Lanham Act, "allows registration of marks when their messages accord with, but not when their messages defy, society's sense of decency or propriety ..." If Congress chose to pass such a law, then trademarks using the F-word might once again be excluded from registration.
The U.S. Supreme Court building is pictured in Washington, U.S., March 20, 2019. "It therefore violates the First Amendment", she wrote.
Simon Tam, who founded The Slants, said Monday that Mr. Brunetti's case helped finish the work he started. She said Lanham Act's ban on "immoral or scandalous" trademarks does just that.
Losing trademark protection wouldn't have forced the team to change its name, but it would have potentially cost the team money in merchandise sales, which might have been a first step toward Dan Snyder changing his stated determination "never" to change the name.
Apple releases public beta of upcoming iOS 13 and iPadOS 13
While these aren't the most life-changing of features, they give you a bit more flexibility and control over the use of fonts. It is recommended to install the beta software on a secondary device as it may include some serious bugs.
FedEx blames ‘operational error’ for not delivering Huawei phone to US
Other reports also say that because of the incident, China is now contemplating on putting FedEx on its own blacklist. A company spokeswoman confirmed that the package was USA bound but declined to say what it contained.
Abraham: Chelsea transfer ban provides 'a great chance' to finally breakthrough
There has been speculation that Chelsea might refuse to sell him because of the prospect of a transfer ban hanging over the club. The England U20 global returned for his long term loan from Aston Villa after help them return to Premier League action.
Brunetti's clothing line is mainly hoodies, loose trousers, shorts and T-shirts, all with FUCT prominently displayed.
The government unsuccessfully argued that prosecutors could apply the law to a defendant's specific history and personality in a case without having to make broader categorical determinations about the nature of specific criminal activities.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, writing a partial dissent, warned that the court had opened the floodgates to vile trademarks such as racial epithets.
The governmental lord overseers are in charge of such things in other nations - in China or North Korea or in Cuba, say - but not in the land of the free and the home of the courageous.
When the 2011 trademark application for FUCT was rejected, the Patent and Trademark Office noted that brand name sounds like a profanity, though is spelled differently, and concluded that Brunetti's products contained sexual imagery, misogyny and violence.
Breyer wrote: "How much harm to First Amendment interests does a bar on registering highly vulgar or obscene trademarks work?" "The owners of such marks are merely denied certain additional benefits associated with federal trademark registration". Attorneys for President Donald Trump's Justice Department defended the law, referring to the name as "the equivalent of the past participle form of the paradigmatic profane word in our culture".
But he said there is room for Congress to carefully craft legislation that would outlaw truly vulgar trademarks that don't communicate any ideas or expressions.